Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Orange Butter Cake



After my disappointing encounter with a Clafoutis, I decided to go back to basics the next day and make meself a plain ol' cake. Initially, I had planned on baking my regular butter cake (see here and here), just to eat my heart out. Butter is one of my favourite natural remedies for depression, and not surprisingly, I found myself craving for a buttery cake, as a salve for my "distress" over that cherry fiasco.

It so happened that while I was waiting for the butter to soften, I decided to squeeze some OJ for my son. And that triggered a series of fortunate events.

On a whim, I thought, why not grate the zest to flavour the cake? And that was what I did. Two large navel oranges rendered approximately 1 1/2 tbsps of zest. In the original butter cake recipe, vanilla is added, but I decided to bench my bottle of extract, to allow the flavour of orange to stand out.

So in went the zest, and out came an Orange Butter Cake that was wonderfully moist and delightfully fragrant. I had expected a subtle hint of orange because I did not add any juice but was pleasantly surprised to find, instead, a strong citrusy flavour. The zest single-handedly delivered the punch.


Here's the cake batter, in a lovely shade of sunshine.


Tent with foil if you see the top browning too quickly. I did so towards the latter half of baking.


It's best to wait till the cake is completely cooled before slicing, else it might crumble as you cut. *guilty look* And woncha lookie here, the texture is just gorgeous, ain't it? I have always loved this butter cake recipe ... and now, with the addition of zest, you get a golden, buttery cake that is speckled with pretty bits of orange.

Recipe
- 195g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 170g butter, softened
- 225g sugar
- 1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- 12 tbsp whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9-inch* cake pan.
* Update (23 July 2010): Two of my readers gave feedback that their cakes did not rise much in a 9-inch pan. I thank them for writing. I do not have a 9-inch pan (except a loose-bottom one which I use for cheesecakes only). So, what I always do is, I'll pour the batter into my 6-inch pan (just slightly above than the halfway mark) and pour the excess in cupcake tins, and I'll bake everything together. My experience to-date is that the cake rises really well, and always looks as if it will overflow. ;) Another reader, bakertan, suggested that, judging from the amount of batter, perhaps an 8-inch pan would be more suitable. Please do read my comment box for the full "discourse". Thank you readers, for sharing. I learn as much from you as you learn from me. :)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about about 2 minutes.

4. Beat in orange zest, then egg and egg yolk. If the mixture curdles, just add 1 tbsp of flour and continue mixing.

5. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk.

6. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears uniform. The batter should look thick and creamy.

7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife.

8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it reaches a dark-gold color and an inserted cake tester comes out clean.

9. Let to rest in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cake stand or platter. Allow cake to completely cool before slicing.



After a few scrummy slices, I felt completely redeemed and my world was at peace again. Cherry who?

82 comments:

  1. This is one of my top favourite cakes. Looks moist and delicious...mmm. I just love the lovely orange smell. I remember when I was young I always put on a lot of weight during Chinese New Year cos I ate so much orange cakes that my aunt made. During those days, there was no cake mixer. It was beaten by hand....so much work! Strange I have not made any. I should start making soon.

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  2. Looks really moist and light. I might get Mister to bake it for me

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  3. Buonissima Molto invitante , ma il Che Profumi escono Dalla Tua cucina. Complimenti anche per il clafoutis del post precedente, bravissima. Ciao Daniela.

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  4. My absolute favorite cake. I have a very old hand-me-down recipe which is really superb....13 egg yolks, 10 egg whites....will email to you if you're interested. You can add cointreau or grand marnier for that "top note" flavour :)

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  5. The cake looks so good - that buttery crumb is just wonderful.

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  6. Ju, i love zesty cake and your orange butter cake looks very inviting and yes, comforting! I can imagine the buttery & tangy fragrance metamorphose while baking this cake. Love the fine crumbs and moistness of your cake.
    btw Ju, which brand of butter do you usually use for your butter cake? Yours look buttery rich.

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  7. Nothing like good old butter cake! And yours says it all - moist, buttery and hmmmm.....mmm

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  8. hie, may i know which butter brand did u use?

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  9. Oh, so little eggs??
    And the amount of sugar seems quite a lot.
    I like the look of the fine crumb. Very fine and tight.

    It's the zest that makes the cake super yummy. The juice doens't really give much taste or smell, but it's the zest. I always choose my oranges with the fragrant skins if I'm making orange butter cakes.

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  10. Gorgeous! It's nice to go back to the basics every now and then!

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  11. This cake looks absolutely delicious: so moist and perfect!

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  12. Wow it looks so simply beautiful!! I dont use orange enough in cakes!

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  13. Oh wow, that looks completely fabulous. The texture is stunning. This is definitely going into my bookmarks.
    *kisses* HH

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  14. looks so simple and easy. i'm sure this would be so great with a cup of tea... great great job!!!

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  15. Wow, I was going to make some cakes for my family and yours look so delicious. Going to try out later.
    Tks for the splendid idea of adding orange zest into the butter cake!

    Btw, your cake is so very neatly cut, may i know what knife you are using? Tks;)

    Have a lovely day zipping a cuppa tea with a slice of orange cake in this nice weather;)

    Irene

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  16. Wow. This cake looks fantastic. I love the texture of the cake as well. I bet it would be even better with some orange glaze on top. YUM!

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  17. Hi Ju, I love your recipe for the Sicilian Orange cake and am very tempted to give this one a try too! Which would you say you prefer? :)

    V

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  18. Ooh, I just love anything orange! And this simple orange butter cake looks like calling out to me! But I can only bake it after I have fully recovered. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, Ju!

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  19. Love the golden colour of your butter cake! The texture is so soft. You know what, you are really the cake master!

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  20. Zu, the cake looks so fine and moist, wish I can ve a slice now :)

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  21. Ju, I'm with you on the clafoutis. I'll take this orange cake every time! YUM

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  22. I super love any cake with butter and orange...and yours looked particularly yummy!!!

    I will have to try this soon.

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  23. Thanks for your comments and compliments, everyone! :D

    Gerrie: 13 yolks?! Er, no lah. I'll pass ... hehe. But thank you for the kind offer. ;) I stick to this recipe all the time because I need only 2 eggs and it still turns out moist. :D

    Hearty Bakes/Tan Shu-Yin: Hi Ladies, for this cake, I used a new brand of butter which I believe was from New Zealand. I honestly did not pay attention to the name. I got it a month back, I think. It was on offer, and since I had never seen this brand before, I bought it to try. I went back to look for it again today and it was gone! The supermarket doesn't seem to carry it anymore, so now I really can't get hold of the name. Anyhow, it tasted just like the other butters I use. I normally buy mine from Phoon Huat - the 2 brands are Saputo (from Argentina) and Greenfields (from Ireland), and now they have a new one, Gold Tree (from Australia). They all work OK for me. Some people swear by certain brands, but I am not fussy. As long as the butter is unsalted and made from 100% cream, I am fine with any brand. I am only discerning when I am eating butter with plain bread ... when I can taste its natural flavour. That's what I favour President and Elle & Vire. HTH!

    Wendy: I know, but the citrus flavour was really, really strong. As strong as the Sicilian Orange Cake, and that one had zest AND juice. So, I was pleasantly pleased. :)

    V: I guess I would choose this Orange Butter Cake, for the simple reason that it is as citrusy in taste, as moist in texture, but has a heck lot less calories!! :) Compare the ingredients of the 2 recipes and you'll see what I mean!

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  24. I love butter cake too! Sometime I also added lemon zest and lemon juice into it.

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  25. This looks absolutely delicious! I was going to make peanut butter & chocolate chip cookie for my son ... but, I think I'm going to make this instead!

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  26. Hi! I just baked this cake and it is every bit as good as what you said, moist and very citrusy! My whole house smells of citrus now!

    But I have one query, I used a 9 inch pan and the cake mixture before baking came up to less than half the pan. The end product is very short, probably only rise a little less than 1 inch. Can you advise what's wrong with it? The cake mixture looks like the one you have in the photo. The cake is not dense, but very crumbly. I'm very puzzled... hope someone can help.

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  27. It Looks so great, I am going to bake it now!! thanks for the recipe, Beautiful!!

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  28. Looks gorgeous and yummy!! I love butter cake and this one with an addition of orange zest sounds superb!

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  29. Ju, this post is so funny. Nothing beats a good piece of butter cake.

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  30. Wow, looks like everyone prefers simple cakes!

    Pauline: Hmmm ... I am not sure ... I assume your baking powder is still within expiry and your oven temperature is accurate? The pan you see in my photo is a 6-inch pan ... I do not have a 9-inch pan, so what I do is to pour the batter just slightly above the halfway mark, and then pour the excess batter into cupcake holders and bake all together. However, I find that this cake rises quite a lot and always threatens to overflow! So, I'm not sure why it rose very little for you??? If someone has a possible explanation, please feel free to comment here.

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  31. Ahhh that is a beauty of a cake...a cup of tea alongside and I would be in heaven!

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  32. Hi Ju,

    I also made this cake last night, I used a 9 inch square pan and also resulted in not much rising, like what pauline mentioned.
    Took your cue to cut when completely cooled, but still ended up quite crumbly, cake pores were not as tight as yours too:(.
    Then i kept it in the fridge. This morning, my family ate the cake for breakfast, the cake wasn't that crumbly and the pieces "stayed together". yumzz.
    The whole 9 inch cake was left with 3 small pcs. Thank you very much for sharing this great recipe.

    Also, like to ask, if I have "undercreamed" or "overcreamed" the butter sugar mixture, resulting in "not-so-tight" pores.

    Much tks, cupcake

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  33. Cupcake: I think this may be of some help:
    http://www.joyofbaking.com/ButterCakeTroubleshooting.html
    I've made this cake so many times, and it hasn't failed me. Well, not yet. ;) Also, I know it works because other bloggers have made and posted their cakes too. Well, maybe your next attempt will be better. :) I don't think you should use a square baking tin. According to Delia (http://www.deliaonline.com/equipment/tins-of-all-types.html), the shape of the tin makes a difference. "An 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin is a good average size, but remember that if you use a square tin, the same mixture will fit 7 inches (18 cm). The rule is that square tins should always be 1 inch (2.5 cm) smaller than round ones." In other words, you can't just substitute one tin for another ... it does affect how the cake turns out. HTH! :)

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  34. Wow thanks ju,

    Didn't know square pan and round ones make such difference!

    Will do a read up on that! Showed my hb your "tight pore cake" as compared to mine, he was amazed!Just like your castella cake, perfect!

    Tks for the tips once again;)
    cupcake

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  35. Hi Ju! Thanks for your advice. Will try this again next time in a smaller cake tin and see how it turns out. :)

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  36. Oh ya! One more query... where can I buy the rum/grand manier or whatever liquor you use? Can they be found in those big supermarkets? What's the actual name of the liquor?

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  37. Hi Ju,

    This seems like a recipe for a moist butter cake considering the amount of milk used. I have also noticed that the method of mixing in the flour used is Hi-ratio method since the weight of sugar is heavier than the weight of butter.

    Judging from the amount of batter, I think an 8 inch round pan would be most appropriate. Any pans larger than that shouldnt rise as much since the surface area is larger. We cant possibly expect the cakes to be at the resulting same height for all the different pan sizes right? For the 9 inch square pan, the volume is significantly higher, about 1.6 times that of the 8 inch round tin. Therefore, the rise should be much less noticeable assuming that the butter is well creamed and baking powder is fresh and working.

    cheers

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  38. Pauline: For this cake, I didn't use any liquor. But if you are referring to the regular butter cake, I used cognac (brandy). It's optional, you know. But if you want to try it, next time you or anyone you know is going overseas, get from duty free. ;)

    Bakertan: Wow, thanks! I really appreciate comments like yours. Very insightful and helpful. I will include your suggestion in my post as an update. :)

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  39. I just baked this. My son loves it. Me ... too sweet ... will cut the sugar next time ... wonder if my son would love it still?? ;)

    Also, my cake came apart. I was reading your comments ... someone said something about overcreamed and under-creamed ... wonder if that's what happened to my cake (?)

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  40. Nice cake. Just look at the fine crumbs.

    Recently I also baked a orange cake but without butter. Would love to try ur recipe one of these dats.

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  41. Sounds delicious, I will have to try it. Gorgeous photo!

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  42. hie Ju,

    I have baked the Orange Butter Cake and i had the same problem with Pauline - my cake rose only a bit which resulted in a rather short cake. However, my cake turned out moist and dense. Very nice that I baked it again the very next day ;)

    http://tanshuyin.blogspot.com/2010/07/orange-butter-cake.html

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  43. Hi Ah Nya, I baked this cake yesterday. It was so good!!! My cake not so pretty as yours, but the taste is fantastic. This recipe is a keeper! :) My family thank you for this.

    Wendy Leow

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  44. Tricia: Oh, how did it "come apart"? When you unmoulded the cake? As for over creaming and under creaming, this is an excellent link:
    http://www.baking911.com/howto/cream.htm

    Whenever possible, I try not to troubleshoot for anyone because it's very hard for me to say what went "wrong" when I was not in the same kitchen. Also, because I am still a novice! I only started baking actively 1 year ago, and there are so many things I still need to learn. Who am I to give advice?!

    I'd rather provide reading resources where you can try and pinpoint the "problem" on your own. Baking is such an experiential thing ... over time, with more practice, you can tell whether you have creamed/kneaded/whisked etc sufficiently just by looking. :)

    Shu-yin: I hopped over to your blog ... you used a larger cake pan, that's why the cake couldn't rise much. But still, the texture of your cake is very good! Well done. :)

    Wendy Leow: You are most welcome. I always feel it's OK when cakes don't turn out "perfect". If they taste good, that's more important. :) Glad your family loved it.

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  45. Beautiful photographs, Ju! That cake looks as light as air and deliciously moist! Keep shining bright :) x

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  46. Hi there Ju! I baked it this afternoon. It was very well received by everyone and all of us ate a few slices each ,,, kekekeke! I managed to get a nice looking cake but my texture not so beautiful and fine like yours. You are still the best! Thanx for sharing this fantastic recipe.

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  47. Hi Ju, thanks for the link I will check it out. Both my hubby and son loves this cake! It's almost all gone!

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  48. I would love to try this, as soon as it's anything less than 1,000 degrees (F) here!!!

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  49. I tried this and it turned out great!! Thanks!

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  50. Hi Ju, thank you for your reply, you're ever so sweet! :)

    I have baked and love this recipe! I am also a huge fan of the Sicilian cake and about the difference in calories, it unfortunately didn't work that way for me as I used 250g for this recipe as well.

    Using a 9inch springform pan for this, I'd felt that the original recipe churns out a flatter cake, and so I used 1.5 times the ingredients. The cake turned out taller and was so scrumptious! I'm obviously NOT a health nut!:P


    V

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  51. Tricia: Good! ;)

    mysimplefood: Oh great! Will I be seeing it on your blog soon? ;)

    V: LOL! Neither am I! Anyone who loves desserts is definitely NOT a health nut. Heh heh! But am glad your cake turned out scrummy! Good for you. :D

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  52. A lovely cake & lovely tablewear too!

    MMMMMMMMMM,...lovely styled food!

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  53. Your cakes are always AMAZING! Bet the hint of orange zest was perfect!

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  54. Hi Ju,
    I just made this cake, and I love it very much! I simply love anything orange! Thanks very much for sharing the recipe. It's definitely a keeper for me! ;)

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  55. Hi Ju,

    I made this cake twice in one month! Love the orangey burst of flavour. The second time I made it, I used a 20cm round cake tin which is about right. It was definitely moist but I didn't get the fine crumbs like yours unfortunately.

    I was wondering if you've ever come across a sour cream lemon poppyseed cake (with lemon syrup) from Rose Levy Beranbaum? It's a lovely lemony cake which I think you may like? Great to make in a bundt tin.

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  56. Anon: Thanks for the recommendation. ;) But poppyseeds are banned in Singapore! :(

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  57. Hi, Ju
    Any suggestion on the amount of sugar to reduce if I prefer a not so sweet butter cake? TQ!

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps use 180g sugar for a start? If still too sweet, then maybe 160g next time?

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  58. Hi, made this into 3 small loaves & added choc chips & turned out real well though i was told its not very moist but to me it was good. The orange flav really came through. Thks for sharing!!

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  59. Yum!! I made it into a loaf and baked it for additional 15 minutes. My friends LOVED it! They finished the whole thing even soon after having all-you-can-eat hot pot for dinner! Thanks for a great recipe, definitely a keeper :)

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  60. the cake looks gorgeous. Can't wait to try it out. thanks for sharing :)

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  61. The cake texture is so even and soft. I like it!

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  62. Hi Ju, I baked it last week and LOVED IT!
    It's one of my fav cakes ever!!
    I left the orange out, and added vanilla to suit my boyfriend tastes.
    It was a mayor hit!
    Cheers from Italy!
    Jasmine

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  63. Ciao Jasmine! That's great to hear. Glad it was well-received. :)

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  64. Hi Ju, here's the post, with a link to your original recipe!

    http://www.labna.it/butter-cake.html

    You won't understand it, since it's in Italian, but all I'm saying is that this cake is my new favourite! I have already baked it twice!!

    xoxo

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  65. Thanks for the lovely recipe Ju...just made it and posted it on my blog with a link to yours.

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  66. Hi ju. I just tried baking this orange butter cake. It's my first ever! But I don't know why the middle part of the cake is still wet.

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    Replies
    1. You just need to cover loosely with a sheet of aluminium foil and continue baking until a skewer comes out clean.

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  67. Hi, I've made this cake so many times since finding the recipe here that it's become an every day cake at home. I've finally given it space on my blog. Go have a look!

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  68. Ju, this is the 1st time ever I baked a successful cake that I dare to offer to my friends! Thanks. Except that I would prefer more orange taste and I forgot to buy milk, so I added some orange juice and extra egg white. The only thing is that it rises more in the middle....

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  69. Ju,The cake has a wonderful flavor and aroma. However, the top of my cake didn't brown too much. I used a rectangular loaf fan. What happened?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, really? I find that this cake browns very quickly. I even have to use a sheet of aluminium foil to cover it toward the second half of baking. I am really not sure why your cake didn't brown much. Sorry.

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  70. Hi Ju
    Just a quick question, i could taste the sugar granules although I used castor sugar..where have i gone wrong? Thank you in advance for your advise.
    Devi

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  71. Hi Devi, my suggestion - and this is what I always do - is to whisk the butter alone for about 30secs, then add sugar in 2-3 additions (not all at once), and continue whipping until fluffy. It may take more than 2mins if you beat on slow speed. Hope this helps!

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  72. Hi,
    Thanks Ju.. it was actually my first time baking and the cake turned out pretty well (thanks to the recipe you posted) other than the slight taste of the sugar granules. I am baking again next week and will try this method :)

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  73. Thank you Ju! I've made this more than 10 times and everyone love it every time I make it. :)

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